Confusion Over Feds in Portland: State Says They’re Leaving, Wolf Says We’ll Leave When Violence Ends

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This morning Gov. Kate Brown (D) of Oregon announced the state had reached a deal with federal officials on the withdrawal of federal troops from the state.

Federal law enforcement officials have been in the city of Portland, protecting federal buildings and property from anarchists that have waged violence against the city for two months.

Brown said the agents will begin leaving Thursday.

“After my discussions with VP Pence and others, the federal government has agreed to withdraw federal officers from Portland. They have acted as an occupying force & brought violence. Starting tomorrow, all Customs and Border Protection & ICE officers will leave downtown Portland,” Brown posted on Twitter.

But that position was quickly contradicted by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf who made it clear federal officers will be leaving only when the violence directed at public property ends.

“As I told the Governor yesterday, federal law enforcement will remain in Portland until the violent activity toward our federal facilities ends. We are not removing any law enforcement while our facilities and law enforcement remain under attack,” he wrote.

Federal officers have been in the city for weeks trying to quell the violence that has been sustained for two months. They’ve often had to battle state and local officials in trying to keep the peace, in addition to violent protesters.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum tried to have federal officers banned from making arrests in Portland, but a federal judge last week, in a sharp setback to local officials, denied that request.

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